Sam Hatton's impact pleases Grimsby Town joint boss Paul Hurst
SAM Hatton showed Grimsby Town fans "why he was brought to the club" with his stunning two-goal performance against Woking on Saturday.
The right-back was recalled to the Mariners' starting line-up for the weekend's clash with the Cards.
Ninety minutes and two superb Hatton free-kicks later, Town had wrapped up a convincing 5-1 victory and climbed to second in the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
And, after a frustrating start to life at Blundell Park, joint boss Paul Hurst is delighted that the former AFC Wimbledon defender finally gave supporters a glimpse of his talent.
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"I'm really pleased for Sam," Hurst told the Telegraph.
"He was starting to get a bit of criticism from the couple of games that he's played in, but on Saturday he showed why we brought him to the club.
"His goals were fantastic – you will struggle to see better than his second – but his overall play was most pleasing.
"Sam has got unbelievable quality. We see him score goals in the top corner from both feet in training all the time, so we knew he had that in his locker.
"But in a lot of ways, I was more pleased by his all-round game."
The 24-year-old joined Town in the summer after helping the Dons to three promotions and being named the supporters' player of the year in 2011.
But fellow full-back Bradley Wood's fine early season form limited Hatton's first-team opportunities.
"Sam found it tough not being in the side," added Hurst.
"He came to us in the summer to play, but the form of Brad has kept him out and it has been hard for him. Sam has come in and done superbly and you feel a bit for Woody in that respect.
"But Woody is an honest lad, we pulled him to one side and said to him that we didn't think he'd been at his best for the last couple of games and he accepted that and agreed.
"Sam has come in and taken his opportunity, but I'm sure at various stages throughout the season, we'll need to use both of them."
Hurst reserved similar praise for another Town 'newboy', Andy Cook, after the big striker bagged his third goal for the Mariners on Saturday.
He said: "Some players are having to wait longer to get their chance – some will dip in and out of the side and some will play for longer than others but we need them to be ready.
"I was delighted for Andy, especially with him getting the goal at the end. I thought he worked extremely hard throughout the 90 minutes and held up the ball extremely well.
"It will help his confidence and he is starting to grow in that respect. We've had a few chats with him and he's starting to show why we brought him here."